tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 01 18:30:40 2009

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Re: -vaD

David Trimboli (david@trimboli.name) [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']



ghunchu'wI' wrote:
> On Jun 1, 2009, at 7:25 AM, Doq wrote:
> 
>> I can't ignore Okrand's use of the word "beneficiary".
> 
> You don't need to ignore it, but perhaps you should modify your  
> understanding of it as a colloquial term that must involve the  
> betterment of what it applies to.
> 
> As a grammatical term, "beneficiary" merely indicates a recipient  
> (usually of an object or of information).  The usual grammatical term  
> for the idea is "indirect object".  In case-marking languages, it  
> gets the dative case.  In English, it usually is preceded by the  
> preposition "to" or "for", or can stand alone if it comes before the  
> direct object.  In Klingon, it gets the Type 5 noun suffix {-vaD}.

I've been doing some reading about this recently. According to 
Wikipedia, what Okrand gives us in TKD 3.3.5 is the benefactive case 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefactive_case>. However, he then 
adjusts it by adding the dative case 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dative_case> to it in TKD 6.8. Wikipedia 
says the combination of benefactive and dative is known in Latin as
/dativus commodi/.

Since English doesn't usually inflect nouns for case, and only inflects 
pronouns a little, we can't use case to determine the syntactic function 
of a noun; we have to determine that by its position. Klingon has an odd 
mix of inflection and position. (Well, maybe it's odd; I don't know 
about most other languages.) A Klingon noun inflected with {-vaD} may or 
may not indicate an indirect object; the case /dativus commodi/ 
describes its function well.

In any case, grammatically "beneficiary" doesn't necessarily mean a 
recipient.

> A Klingon sentence's "beneficiary" doesn't obviously have to end up  
> improved by the sentence.  {qama'vaD QIghpej lo' 'avwI') seems  
> grammatically fine to me.

I'm not entirely certain I agree with that. I can't think of any 
particular argument against it though. We haven't ever officially seen 
{-vaD} in that light, have we?

-- 
SuStel
Stardate 9418.3






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